Todd and Kelli had a smoking hot wedding day that was at least a better result than the 90% chance of rain we saw at one point. These rain chances anyway… We traveled to Bellevue, Iowa for their big day, which sits on the banks of the Mississippi River.
The day started with the girls getting ready at the ceremony location—St. Joseph Catholic Church. When Kelli was done with hair and makeup and was in her dress, she had a sweet first look with her dad. The guys were outside in the hallway for a while, just working up a good sweat before the ceremony. Ugh.
Todd and his mom played a song during the prelude of the wedding, which probably induced more sweat. It was a pretty special thing to see, but I know Todd wasn’t a fan of it in the moment. “I just want it to be over with,” he said beforehand. Apparently that was the first time he had played guitar and sang in front of a crowd of people? The second was later that night at the reception. Soon it was “over with” and he got to see Kelli for the first time walking down the aisle to him.
We literally explored most of Bellevue looking for photo locations as the wedding party tooled around in a tractor and covered wagon. It was the most glamorous mode of transportation we’ve seen to date! 🙂 Complete with “creative” signage. If that wasn’t small town Iowa, I don’t know what is. It was bright and very hot for most of the day, until some heavy cloud cover rolled in for the last few minutes we had of photo time. That made things a little more reasonable for that long wagon ride to the reception!
The reception at The Shore Event Center was pretty epic. There was dinner, toasts, cake cutting and spotlight dances, but clearly what stole the show was the family band Razor Ray and the Blades. Kelli’s grandpa used to be a barber, hence the “Razor Ray”. His kids were “the Blades”. They introduced themselves as such and offered the disclaimer, “We only play at family gatherings and we’re not very good.” A couple songs in, the crowd was feeding off of their energy and it was one of the most full dance floors we’ve seen. They got a wide variety of people involved to play and sing different songs and it was fun to see all the musical talent and passion within both of these families. Even the bride and groom had their parts. To say they weren’t very good sold them way short! I was skeptical when Kelli talked about a family band playing for the reception, but it ended up being one of my favorite things I’ve ever photographed and experienced at a reception. They played, danced, sang and sweated their hearts out! It was so much fun!
Todd and Kelli, thanks so much for having us capture your wedding day! We wish you a lifetime of love and happiness together!
Flowers & Cake – Hy-Vee (Dubuque Locust)
Catering – Kalmes (St Donatus)
Video – C.K. Productions
Band – Razor Ray & The Blades
Jewelry – Doland Jewelers
Dress – Brides by Jessa
Photographers – Carter Photography